Visiting the Not Very Windy City

A couple of weekends ago, I somewhat spontaneously planned a trip to Chicago with my old roomie, Angie.  Angie used to live in Chicago and loved it.  I had always planned to come visit her but then she came back to Maryland.  Boo on her.  The big visit to Chicago was one of those things we both said “we should do sometime!” but never really got around to committing to it.  I finally said f it – and planned the damn trip.

We flew out of BWI at 6am (!!) and I waited until the last minute to pack.  This meant that I forgot to pack: my camera, my glasses and my contact lens case.  I also forgot to check if my iPod Nano was charged since I was planning on running when I was there.  If you’re wondering – it wasn’t charged.  Awesome.

So – Angie finally sent me the pictures.  She sent me 116 pictures and bless her little heart for snapping so many random pictures.  Since I forgot my camera and had never been to Chicago, Angie took pictures of everything.  For your sake, I’m only posting a few (which I’m sure will bore the shit out of you but whatever… you don’t have to read!  I just figured I should post pictures of something other than my dogs).

Putting on some makeup on the train from the airport into the downtown area.  Hot stuff.

Putting on some makeup on the train from the airport into the downtown area. Hot stuff.

 

Posing in front of the Hancock building that we never actually went into because we didn't feel like it

Posing in front of the Hancock building that we never actually went into because we didn't feel like it

Chicago has the prettiest buildings.  I have no idea what is significant about any of these buildings... just posing in front of them

Chicago has the prettiest buildings. I have no idea what is significant about any of these buildings... just posing in front of them

Look!  More buildings in Chicago!

Look! More buildings in Chicago!

We took a Double Decker tour of the city... mostly so we could see Harpo Studios.  But look - McDonald's!

We took a Double Decker tour of the city... mostly so we could see Harpo Studios. But look - McDonald's!

Oprah lives in this building when she's filming her show. I wonder how she feels about the tour group pointing this out?

Oprah lives in this building when she's filming her show. I wonder how she feels about the tour group pointing this out?

Harpo Studios!  Okay - this was actually a really disappointing part of the tour.  Nothing exciting here and Oprah's store is a complete ripoff.

Harpo Studios! Okay - this was actually a really disappointing part of the tour. Nothing exciting here and Oprah's store is a complete ripoff.

Posing in front of the famous bean in Millenium Park

Posing in front of the famous bean in Millenium Park

A view from the center of the bean.  Kinda weird.

A view from the center of the bean. Kinda weird.

Another famous feature of Millenium Park.  A giant screen that squirts water out onto screaming children.

Another famous feature of Millenium Park. A giant screen that squirts water out onto screaming children.

Rawr!  Oh T-Rex... your tiny little arms make me sad.

Rawr! Oh T-Rex... your tiny little arms make me sad.

I was so excited to see these guys - the anti-Scientology group.  I still have no idea why they were protesting here or why some dude is wearing a banana costume.  But I definitely squealed, "Angie!  Quick!  Take their picture - I read about them in Maxim!!"

I was so excited to see these guys - the anti-Scientology group. I still have no idea why they were protesting here or why some dude is wearing a banana costume. But I definitely squealed, "Angie! Quick! Take their picture - I read about them in Maxim!!"

Having wine at Angie's friend's condo.  Ridiculously nice condo.

Having wine at Angie's friend's condo. Ridiculously nice condo.

A view from Angie's friend's condo.  Amazing... and a bit vomit-inducing for those with a fear of heights.

A view from Angie's friend's condo. Amazing... and a bit vomit-inducing for those with a fear of heights.

Supposedly this is the best pizza in Chicago.  It was good... but I'm not going to crave it fortnightly.

Supposedly this is the best pizza in Chicago. It was good... but I'm not going to crave it fortnightly.

Running along Lake Michigan.  I didn't ask Angie to take this picture, I swear!  But wow - Chicago is a super fit city.  I've never encountered so many runners/bikers early in the morning anywhere (except a race).

Running along Lake Michigan. I didn't ask Angie to take this picture, I swear! But wow - Chicago is a super fit city. I've never encountered so many runners/bikers early in the morning anywhere (except a race).

A view of the running path along Lake Michigan.  Seriously - this is such a great area to run around.

A view of the running path along Lake Michigan. Seriously - this is such a great area to run around.

So there you have it.  We didn’t really go into any of the buildings (Hancock, Sears, Union Station…) because we really didn’t want to.  We wanted to eat and just enjoy the city.  I was blown away by the cleanliness of the city, the beauty of the buildings, the fabulous (and expensive) shopping along the Magnificent Mile and the ridiculously HIGH sales tax.

Seriously – the sales tax is over 10%.  Angie’s friend pointed out that their sales tax is why their city is so nice (clean and covered with blooming flowers).  Maryland’s is 6% and Baltimore is still a crap-hole (albeit a crap-hole that I love… but let’s be honest.  Walking through Patterson Park will always include a discovery of: used condoms, needles, energy drink plastic bottles and cheap vodka bottles).

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6 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Travels

6 responses to “Visiting the Not Very Windy City

  1. Kevin

    Chicago is on my list of cities to visit. That view from the condo is ridiculous! Looks like you had a great time. However, the icing on the cake is your description of the gems you can find while walking through Patterson Park. ha

    You should definitely visit Chicago! I want to go back. And you know what I said about Patterson Park (or really – most parks in Baltimore) is totally true.

  2. Meredith

    Oh Kim I must pull my architecture dork card here because Chicago is full of so many historically significant buildings. Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies Van Der Rhoe. All the masters are in that city, the world’s first steel frame sky scraper, the history of the Great Fire and the worlds fair. If you haven’t already, you need to read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

    Okay lecture over…glad you enjoyed your get away! And as Jodi always says when we stop to do push ups in the park, check for condoms and dog poop before committing to a location!

    Our Double Decker tour guide pointed out a lot of the building’s archecture (and architects). A lot of the buildings had interesting nicknames like “jukebox” or “champagne bottle”.

    And I love that Jodi said that. It is so true!

  3. I have to say, Chicago is one of my favorite cities. It’s got all the big-city awesome of NYC, but it seems so much more approachable. It’s like NYC is the head cheerleader, and Chicago is her totally down-to-earth friend who works for the school newspaper, but is still really hot.

    That is the perfect description of Chicago! You should also mention that it costs more to get into Chicago’s pants.

  4. Your photos make me want to go to Chicago! It looks so awesome!

    I highly recommend a visit out there.

  5. It looks like you had a nice time! Nice to know I am also not the only chick in the world who reads Maxim. Got it for the hubs and now I make sure to read it before he drools on the pics lol.

    I also got it as a Christmas gift for my husband! It is surprisingly an entertaining magazing (and good bathroom read). 🙂

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